There are so many amazing, thought-provoking books out there that it can be hard to know where to start. But if you could only read 5 books before you die, then you should definitely get yourself a copy of the following…
5. H.G Wells – The Time Machine
H.G Wells was an extraordinarily talented writer. In this novel, published towards the end of the Victorian era, Wells managed to capture the sense of a fantastical, yet scary, future whereby the human race has become divided into two factions – The sweet, innocent and docile Eloi who live above ground, and the vicious, terrifying Morlocks who live underground, harvesting Eloi for food.
The story itself, centres around one man’s determination to travel through time by building a time machine, only to find himself caught up in this struggle between the Eloi and the Morlocks.
An amazing book, and one that helped to spawn the time travel genre as we know it!
4. Markus Zusak – The Book Thief
Many books will feature, in one way or another, the idea of death, but none bring it to the fore in the same way that Zusak does. In The Book Thief, Death is a character, he has form and he shares his memories with the reader in a novel that is unlikely to be bettered in the future.
Set around the events leading up to and during the Second World War, the novel tells the story of an illiterate little girl, called Leisel, who begins taking books from various places. As she makes her precarious journey through life, Leisel takes solace in her books whilst Death watches over her.
A haunting, yet must-read book, that should be on every book-lover’s shelf!
3. John Boyne – The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Another book set around the time of the Second World War, but one that should definitely be read.
Written as though it was being narrated by the 9 year-old protagonist, Bruno, it is actually a very quick read, but don’t let that fool you. This is a book rich in imagery, that shares the true horror of what happened to the Jews in Auschwitz. It is refreshing to read something that tells the story of the war from the point of view of the children who were there.
Of course this is no Anne Frank’s Diary, but it is still a fantastic piece of writing that will pull at your heart strings.
2. William P Young – The Shack
The Shack is a fresh look at the idea of the Christianised God.
Many people have a set idea about who or what God is and this book challenges many of those preconceived ideas to provide a literary work that is frankly amazing. Sadly, the book focuses around the abduction and brutal murder of a little girl, whose father, Mack, sets out on a journey to try to understand why God would allow such a thing to happen. What happens to Mack changes his life and anyone who reads it is sure to feel the same.
Even if you’re not a Christian or believe in God, this book is still an excellent read because it has hidden depths and layers that will appeal to any spiritual person. So go on, give it a go.
1. George Orwell – 1984
Perhaps one of the best literary works of the 20th Century, Orwell’s novel opens the mind to so many things that it would be hard to list them all, not to mention the fact that this SCi-Fi book is bound to mean different things to different people.
Written in the late 1940’s, the story focuses on Winston Smith – who lives in a bleak future, where our every thought and action is controlled and manipulated by Big Brother via the use of the media and false propaganda.
It is an extraordinarily good book that is hard to put down once you start reading and will undoubtedly leave you questioning everything in our society today. A truly thought-provoking book that simply must be read!
So go on, tell us what books you feel everyone should read before they die?!
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